If you have ever tried to search “The best Forex for beginners trading platform,” there is no doubt you are familiar with MetaTrader 4. Popularly known as MT4, this retail trading platform is provided by almost all brokers, except for very few.
Perhaps you are here since you want to be a guru in Forex trading on MetaTrader 4. Well, to accomplish that, you need to learn how to use Meta Trader 4. Luckily, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to help you understand what is Forex and get started trading on one of the best trading platforms.
Metatrader 4: Availability and Design
Just to take you a bit back, MetaTrader 4 was developed by MetaQuotes Software Corporation five years ago. A decade and a half later, MetaTrader 4 has remained the most favorable option for most Forex traders thanks to its user-friendly interface and unparalleled support for automated trading solutions development.
Traders can access and down the MetaTrader4 trading platform from any CFD/ Forex brokers providing MT4. Traders can also start with free MetaTrader demo accounts, which are provided by most brokers such as FXTM.
While you may find the same MT4 download link on the MetaQuotes website that also comes with $10,000 on creating the demo account, it has been found that when you click the link, you actually download the MT5 trading platform.
These efforts by MetaQuotes are meant to promote the upgraded version of MT4, though the claims whether MT5 is better than MT4 have never been substantiated.
In our tutorial, we will use the MetaTrader 4 demo account from FXTM. To get a more realistic experience, we recommend that you create a $10,000 MT4 demo account. This MetaTrader 4 tutorial will guide you on how to install and set-up your account. We will then discuss the account’s functionalities.
Is MetaTrader 4 Good for Beginners?
An overwhelming majority of Forex experts advise novices to start with MT4. This agile environment facilitates safe practice with our beginners’ guide. The interface is loaded with features that help neophytes polish their skills. Here are some of the biggest strengths of MetaTrader 4 in this regard.
- The free demo mode lets you learn step by step at your own pace.
- The graphics are easy to read, so you can master technical analysis more quickly.
- Both technical and fundamental approaches are supported (indicators + access to news), so you can choose a comfortable system.
- A rich set of resources including Expert Advisors are available in the official community dedicated to MQL4.
- Universal compatibility lets you trade on a PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, as the program supports all popular OS: desktop, mobile, and web-based.
- Copy trading lets you learn by mirroring the strategies of experienced users.
Installing and Setting Up the Metatrader 4 Trading Account
First, you need to download the trading platform. After that, follow the instructions for installing your program. If need be, click on the settings and choose the folder to save your program. Run the installation, and once it’s complete, select Finish, and your MT 4 trading platform will load automatically. On the list, you will see your demo server. Select it and click Next.
Please keep in mind that if you got your platform directly from a broker, an email would be sent to you containing a/c number, password, and your server.
Input your account details. Ensure to check the Save Password box so that MetaTrader can log in automatically in your next login.
Your MetaTrade 4 platform is now set for use. At a glance, the platform may appear intricate, but when you start to use it, you will realize the first sight can be deceiving-it is pretty easy to use as you shall see below.
Metatrader 4 Sections
The platform is comprised of 6 different sections. For easy identification, we have marked them using different color rectangles, as shown here; the Market Watch (green), Menu (red), Chart Workspace (yellow), Toolbar (orange) Terminal (purple), and Navigator (blue).
a. The Menu
Here is where you can access all MT4 actions. However, we will show you more useful options in this MetaTrader 4 demo account tutorial.
b. The Toolbar
On Toolbar, you can access the frequently used options such as technical tools, modifying the appearance of the chart and the timeframe.
c. Market Watch
Here you will access the list of all the available assets. On Market Watch, you can also customize which assets to be displayed on your platform. To see more details of the asset, right-click and hop to Specifications. Here, you will see the overnight positions as well as the rates charged. Not many brokers mention this, and therefore the tool is not frequently accessed in the MT4 platform.
d. The Navigator
In this section, you can access scripts, indicators, and the installed EAs.
e. The Terminal
The account history, trade, and exposure show your profile and makes it possible for you to manage open positions. The News tab displays live-market-related articles and open events. The Market allows you to browse third-party add-ons.
f. The Chart Workplace
This is the workstation where all technical analyses are conducted. You can customize it and also save the template.
Simplifying Your User Experience on Metatrader 4
The default appearance of the Toolbar displays two rows. The 1st row is composed of Charts and Standard, while the 2nd row consists of Timeframes and Line Studies. To see the names right-click randomly in the Toolbar. If you want to increase the Chart Workspace, you can bring the bottom two to the same level as the first two.
And because you are dealing with a single account, for now, you don’t need to open the Navigator. When you need it, you can access it easily by clicking the Navigator icon found in the Toolbar.
Besides, you can expand the contracted asset list by hovering your cursor and clicking inside the Market Watch and selecting Show All. To reveal the account balance, click on Trade accessible in the Terminal. This is also where you will see all the open trades.
Once these steps are executed, your MetaTrader 4 trading terminal should appear like this:
How to Use Metatrader 4 with Charts
Most of your trading time will be spent on the charts in the MetaTrader 4 terminal. MT4 contains four charts by default, but for a newbie, it is best to commence with one. To arrange multiple charts in tiles or maximize them, click the corresponding Toolbar icon. To open a new chart, right-click on the selected asset in the Market Watch section and then choose Charts Window.
Automatically, MT4 will add the new chart and display it at the bottom of the Chart Workspace window. This is highlighted in the red rectangle below.
MetaTrader 4 Two-Step Chart Layout Customization
Place the cursor anywhere within the chart and right-click. A dialog box will appear — select properties. Alternatively, you can simply press F8.
A property window that pops contains Common and Colours. With these properties, you can create and customize your chart. Try to experiment with various options and choose the style that best suits you.
Below is the layout customization image that we will be referring to in our tutorial. To save it, hover your cursor to the chart and right-click in it. Click on Template and go to Save Template. Save it in the destination folder you had chosen before.
Prop tip: Save your template as Default.tpl. This enables your template to load automatically whenever you start a new chart. If you want to go back to default MT4 settings, simply click on Reset.
Tips and Tricks When Working With MT 4 Charts
While working with the MT4 charts, you want to be able to analyze the assets in the most efficient way possible. To realize this, two crucial items will help your navigation. They include Hotkeys and Toolbar.
Items such as Timeframes, Charts, and Line Studies allow for quick adjustments while analyzing the assets. Let’s take a sneaky peak of each of these three elements.
a. Charts (red)
At the charts, you can customize the visual display, get indicators list, choose timeframes, zoom, shift, manage the templates, and arrange your assets.
b. Line Studies (green)
While the cursor is set as default, you can choose crosshair. This makes it possible to identify by measuring the distance between the two charts. Long-press the left button of the mouse and highlight the endpoint. The number of candlesticks, last value, and pips distance will be displayed. Besides, Line Studies comes in handy when you want to draw horizontal, vertical, and trend lines, labeling charts, and adding Fibonacci Retracement sequences.
c. Time Frames (orange)
Here you can access nine and maneuver through them effortlessly. Even better, with MT4, you can load a variety of them on different charts.
With experimentation, you will become better and better every day. After all, that is the key purpose of having an MT4 demo account. You can always access the Toolbar which will show hotkeys and other functionalities. Hotkeys are essential in speeding up your navigation and when you want to modify the charts, and the more you analyze different assets, the more you will appreciate their crucial role. Here are some hotkeys obtained from the MetaQuotes site.
How to Use Meta Trader 4 with Indicators
Now let’s dive in and understand the basics of analyzing the assets with indicators and order placement. There is a myriad of technical indicators to use. Some are placed directly into the chart while others are added below it.
The best way to access indicators is by going to the Menu and selecting Insert. Or, you can use Navigator as shown here as marked by the red rectangle.
In our example, we will select the Commodity Channel Index.
For each indicator you choose, you will see settings in the dialogue box that pops out after choosing the one to add. To add the indicator, click OK.
Below, you can see the Fibonacci Retracement Fan sequence that we have drawn using the equivalent tab from the Toolbar. We have also included a Simple Moving Average indicator.
And if you want to delete the indicator, you can do so by right-clicking on it. You will see a box like this:
How to Place Trade Orders in Metatrader 4
Understanding how to place trade orders is not a rocket science thing. There are four available options. However, the one-click trading option is most convenient though you can use the other advanced options in the order windows.
To place orders you can either click on the New Order button found in the Toolbar (red), or right-click in Market Watch on the selected asset, or press F9. To enable single-click trading, click in the triangle close to the asset name (orange square).
The main differences between placing an order via the order window and through a single-click trading icon are that in the former, you can initiate a stop loss and take profit and also leave a comment.
With an MT4 account, you can also place pending orders. To do that, you have to change the Type (red). After executing that move, there will be a change in the order window, which allows you to pick the order type as well as the price level (orange). When you click on Place, the pending order will be displayed in the Terminal (green). It can always be deleted by clicking the X button (blue). In our case here, the Market moved fast; it triggered our pending order.
See the snapshot to get an in-depth understanding of each type of pending orders as listed on the Meta Quotes website:
After executing your market order, a confirmation is sent to you, and the position shown within the Terminal (red rectangle).
Metatrader 4 Portfolio Management
Portfolio management forms an integral part of your everyday trading operations. It is usually executed from the Terminal icon in the Trade and Account History tab.
To close the active trades, you should click on the x button (red rectangle). Since you are doing it for the first time, a confirmation dialogue will be displayed to confirm whether you want to proceed to close the trades or not (orange rectangle).
You can also customize open positions. To accomplish that, double-click on the order you want to modify in the Terminal, and an order window will pop up. Hover to Type and click on Modify Order (red). Now you can modify your active order (orange) by adding stop-loss and keep the profit, by either choosing the distance in pips or choosing the price under Level, then pressing Copy as, and then complete with, Modify.
In the image below, you can identify the updated stop loss and take profit levels (red rectangle).
To display the details of the closed trades, hover to the Account History tab found in the Terminal (red rectangle), and there you can view all the details. As shown below, we closed the open trades, and therefore the manually exited trades are not shaded. The positions we closed through stop-loss and take gains are shaded in red and green, respectively. It doesn’t show the profitability of the closed trades, which a trader can see under the Profit column.
How to use strategy tester in mt4
The strategy tester in M4 is primarily made for testing automated systems so-called expert advisors. Testing provides a means to analyze the effectiveness of a trading system and optimize its performance. Here are the steps to use this tool:
Step 1: Launch the MT4 desktop application.
Step 2: On the MT4 desktop platform, choose View > Strategy Tester.
Don’t have a selected expert advisor to use with the strategy tester in Mt4? The platform comes with free samples, the MACD, and Moving Average.
To add a free EA fast, go to https://www.mql5.com/en/market/mt4. Select the Free tab to see the featured free EAs.
Here we found the Trend Scalp EA:
Next, click the Download button. The website asks if MT4 is installed on the computer and a second prompt to launch it, which adds the EA automatically.
Step 3: Select the preferred Expert Advisor.
Step 4: Configure other parameters, for instance, changing the symbol, analysis method, date ranges, expert properties, etc.
Step 5: Once you’re ready, select the Start button. The Strategy tester will analyze the markets by applying the EA’s trading strategies.
Step 6: View the strategy’s performance by using the bottom navigation toolbar. You may view optimization results, graphs, results of various trades, etc.
How to take partial profit in mt4
Don’t want to close a profitable open position but want to lock in part of the profits? Taking partial profit in MT4 only takes three steps:
Step 1: Double click the open trade from the terminal to launch the Order execution window.
Step 2: Change the Volume. For instance, if the volume was 1 lot and you wish to half the position, change the value to 0.5.
Step 3: Select Close. That’s all.
You need an effective and simple Forex trading account. Thankfully, the MT4 trading platform got you covered. Don’t hesitate to experiment with your MetaTrader 4 demo account. In case you need assistance, you can refer to this MetaTrader 4 app tutorial.
It is advisable to check the MetaTrader 4 Android tutorial and other information before signing up for a live account. Don’t rush to complete the learning using your demo account; progress at your pace. When you feel confident and comfortable, proceed and sign up a real account and start trading. A demo account is also available from the broker Alpari
Why Is MetaTrader 4 So Popular?
Every platform released since MT4 has been compared to it. MetaQuotes Inc. was a trailblazer, but its products are by no means obsolete. Brokers have no reason to abandon MT4 as it is:
You can use it on all popular OS without subscriptions.
The platform supports technical and fundamental strategies, both short- and long-term.
The layout is logically structured and easy to navigate.
Your data and funds are safe, as MT4 prevents DoS attacks and uses strong encryption.
MQL4 allows quick deployment of Expert Advisors, including third-party robots.
The servers are powerful enough to process tens of thousands of trades simultaneously.
The program does not put excessive pressure on your hardware.
- Customer Service Oriented
The mailbox is your line of real-time communication with the broker 24/7.
The interface, including windows, charts, and indicators, is highly customizable
- Designed for Different Accounts
If you have several accounts (e.g., live and demo), switching between them is a breeze.
These are the most salient benefits of MT4. This platform is recognized by over 1,200 brokers all around the world! Use our MetaTrader 4 tutorial to get started and join this colossal online community!
- How Do I Use MetaTrader 4?
Check to see if the broker provides MetaTrader and the download links. They may also provide access to the MT4 web trading platform, but it’s always preferable to learn the desktop platform first.
- How to Use Metatrader 4 as a beginner?
Practice with a MetaTrader 4 demo account from the selected trading platform to learn about its features. The top things to learn include placing a new order, setting a stop loss & take profit, calculating the spreads from Bid & Ask price, opening new charts, and adding indicators.
- How Do I Use My PC to Trade With MT4?
Find the correct version for the computer’s OS. Use the steps in this tutorial for a successful installation.
- What are the steps to update MT4?
Program update alerts may show up as notifications in the terminal. The program loads updates in the background, and by restarting the terminal, the MT4 applies the new updates. Similarly, the trading platform may alert their traders to update MT4.
- How do I install indicators?
Download and installing indicators from the MQl5 website is quick and easy. Find the indicator from https://www.mql5.com/en/market/mt4/indicator and select Download. Open the indicator in MetaTrader.
To install indicators from other sources, save the indicator in an easily accessible location. On Mt4, navigate to File > Open Data Folder > MQL4> Indicators. Copy the custom file to the Indicators folder. Restart the program.
- Which forex prime brokers offer MT4?